Facts and Trends on Recent Burglaries from LAPD

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Based on community meetings this week where LAPD issued crime reports and recommendations, the BAA has compiled a list of facts for our members’s interest:

Facts on recent burglaries:

• Our community is experiencing an increase in home burglaries and car thefts.   These burglaries are prolific; multiple neighborhoods and county jurisdictions are experiencing the same crime.
• There has been approximately 20 burglarized locations throughout Bel-Air - Bel-Air Crest - Holmby Hills - Westwood area in just under a month.  
• LAPD tracks these crimes everyday to assess trends and patterns in order to develop strategies and assign resources.
• Only 13% of all burglaries are solved.

•  Last week, LAPD apprehended three burglars in the Westwood area who were observed by undercover officers from the LA County Sheriff’s Department.  The undercover sheriffs were able to notify LAPD during a break-in and LAPD apprehended the perpetrators.

Current burglary patterns:

• Susceptible hours for burglaries include - but not limited to — the hours of 11 AM to 10 PM.

• Most perpetrators use the knock-knock method.

• Knock-knock burglars work in teams of 3 or 4 individuals.  They use newer, higher-end cars, such as Mercedes and BMWs, to case the neighborhoods.  The intent of using the new, higher-end cars is to blend and fit into the neighborhood.

• In most cases perpetrators conceal their license plates or have paper plates.

• Perpetrators apparently are pre-selecting homes to burglarize:

• Perpetrators knock on the door just to verify no one answers.

• If no response at front entry, two or three will access side yard entrances to enter the backyard where they gain entrance by either smashing a door or window, use patio furniture, or homeowner’s unsecured tools, such as ladders, to gain access to upper stories that may not have monitoring devices installed.

• LAPD will not be dispatched on reports of suspicious persons.  LAPD is dispatched when it has been determined that a crime is in progress.

• Be suspicious and notify neighbors if you observe the following in your neighborhood:

• High-end cars with 3-4 individuals

• Obscured or paper license plates

• Take a look around your property to make sure items are secured that would otherwise aid a burglar to gain access into your home.

Role of private patrols:  If you observe a car or people that raises suspicion in your area and who are not entering property, a call to a private patrol company may help as the patrol personnel can approach and question the suspicious individuals and gain valuable information for LAPD.

Advice from LAPD:

• LAPD encourages residents to use the new technology that includes a system that is proactive and critical areas around homes are monitored; for example, front door and side access.  These systems offer video that can provide crucial evidence for LAPD.

• Regular house alarms are no longer sufficient.  Since most home alarm systems turn out to be false alarms, a house burglar alarm is a low priority in the LAPD’s call stack. It can take an hour or hours to respond to the “house alarm only” call.

• With the new notification technology, homeowners receive alerts on their smartphones if motion is detected in monitored areas on their property.  Occasions occur where these alerts are triggered by gardeners, other legitimate personnel, or animals — but an alert could reveal someone you have not given permission to gain access.

What two flags warrant a 911 call for LAPD dispatch?

1st Flag:  Someone at your door

2nd Flag:  Motion on your side access yards and/or backyard where you should review that activity and rule out gardeners or other legitimate people in those areas.

If people triggering the monitored alert to a smartphone are not legitimate personnel, this will elevate the situation to a 911 call.  Once confirmation that a burglary is in progress, LAPD will dispatch patrol cars, helicopters, and other resources.